inspiration4 min read

The best paint colour ideas for a small living room

Dark small living room using Lick Green 06

WordsMaha Elley


Working with limited square footage in your living room? Living in a small space doesn’t mean that you can’t fulfil your decorating dreams. Learn how to choose paint colours that will make the most of every precious inch of your living room.

Small living room colour ideas

First, it’s important to recognise the impact of light on your paint colour choices. When you’re deciding on paint for a small living room, choose your colour based on how much natural light is coming into the room and the time of day you tend to use it most. If your room is filled with light, subtle colours may look even more subtle as the natural light reflects off the walls. If your living room is really light, subtle colours may look almost white. 

If you’re working with a darker room, you’ll find the opposite is true. Colours may appear even darker due to the lack of light. If you don’t have much natural light coming in, check out our tips on how to brighten up a dark room

The best way to work out how your colour choice will look in your space is to order a paint sample. You’ll see that the shades can look a little different depending on how much light falls on them.

Small living room colour ideas: blue living room

If you’re considering painting your living room with fresh shades of blue, Vanessa (one of our resident Colour Specialists) suggests opting for baby blue Blue 03 paint: “The soft hint of green makes it feel fresh and light. You can pair this with our white grey wall paint, White 02 which allows the natural light to bounce around the room making it feel bigger.”

Hallway decorated in Lick Blue 03 paint shade
White 02 paint shade on the wall with shadow

Small living room colour ideas: green living room

Want to turn your small living room into a restful haven? Use colour psychology to create a relaxing space by painting your living room walls green. Green is the colour of harmony and balance - in mind, body and emotion. As it doesn’t take our eyes long to adjust to green, it can create a restful vibe. Tash, our Lead Colour Specialist, is a big fan of using green paint for small living rooms: “Green works so well in small spaces - the blue and yellow pigments in light greens work to embrace a space” 

In terms of the exact shade of green you pick, Tash recommends choosing this based on what kind of space you want your living room to be. Are you looking to create a smart and stimulating space to host guests? Or do you want somewhere cosy and cocooning for movie nights? 

If you’re creating a space for hosting, lighter greens such as Green 01 would be a great choice. This green has a hint of yellow in it, making it a stimulating colour that’s perfect for entertaining in a small room. Want your living room to feel snug and cosy? Create a cocooning effect with dark greens such as Green 05 or Green 06).

Read all your green living room questions answered here.

Small living room colour ideas: white and beige living room 

As darker colours tend to absorb light, they can make a smaller room feel even snugger. If you want to give your small living room a more spacious feel, opt for colours on the lighter side. 

White, in particular, has the wonderful ability to almost ‘expand’ a room as any natural light just bounces off it. For a more cosy feel, add a touch of warmth with Beige 01. This soft caramel colour is neutral yet modern and pairs well with the pure White 01, making any small space feel fresher and brighter. 

Along with other neutral paint colours, this combination is a great choice if you’re working with a dark and north-facing room.